21.24: Random Thoughts of the Week

Ideas I’ve shared

  • For a few years, I’ve been advocating for the protection of user privacy and very outspoken about the harm that an economy based on data is causing to society. However, I didn’t know about the existence of this publication, yet its content around the perils of an economy governed by data is very insightful and worth reading.
  • Speaking of another recurrent topic of mine: side-projects… More often than not, I find myself rambling with friends about their value, how to nourish them and balance all out with demanding jobs while retaining a well-rounded life… This is the best recollection of all these “strong opinions” I’ve read so far.

The idea of “better” always depends on what you compare it with. Imagine a bear is chasing both you and your friend out in the woods. You don’t want to run faster than the bear, but your friend.

An extremely insightful podcast with Noam Bardin about the early days at Waze and a very interesting discussion around the product life cycle. Waze let it evolve in two axes, ensuring both alignments with the KPIs and the kind of users that were driving growth:

  • Maturity: figure out what matters most at each stage (what would delight users) and make sure to align all the efforts with your main KPIs.
  • Type of user: the people using the product at the beginning might not be the same ones that later on. For example, early adopters caring about GPS signal strength, yet laggards might prefer a cool avatar for the car.

Things I was into

[…] These all loop back on each other: being more practiced at your work attracts more people around you, and more people increases your chances of stumbling into the next great opportunity, where you’ll grow faster. In the end, you’re going to find yourself on a curve that bends upwards.

  • One of the areas I’ve been taking for granted and overlooked for a long time has been deliberately cultivating a network of friends and acquaintances. Although I’m proactively working on improving it, this post nicely drives the idea home by framing our trajectory as a compounded story — one that we struggle with when we project it from our current position.

Random thoughts

  • Every year, one way or another, I take a look at the silliest WWDC announcements that nobody, but me, cares about. Up until this day, inexplicably, Apple still bundles a preview page among their marketing material with an endless list of all the features and a short paragraph with its description. I wonder how much traffic this page will end up acquiring… Anyway, this year, here are my five (petty) picks for macOS Monterrey:
    • iCloud+ and its ability to personalize your email address with a custom domain name. Would that mean no need for hosting email somewhere else and stop paying for the email service altogether?
    • Photos got a significant update that now includes a richer Info pane where you can edit the date and time when a photo was taken.
    • Are both AirPlay to the Mac and Universal Control Apple’s answers to the entry-level display?
    • Custom mouse pointers: supposedly now you can customize the outline and fill color of the mouse pointer […]. Does this mean I can now get the iPad pointer on the Mac?
    • If Automatic window resizing, all the features under Window Management, and its automation through Shortcuts mean that I’ll finally get a streamlined process to manage windows in and out of an external display… that’s the best feature Apple has given to the human race in decades.
First published on June 20, 2021